Entry requirements for the GDLP
An Australian Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor or international equivalent. The Diploma in Law, awarded by the Legal Profession Admission Board is also accepted for admission to this programme.
Age of your previous qualification - Limit of 5 years
As of 1 January 2015, a 'stale learning' requirement comes into effect. This means that you need to apply for admission to practice within five years of completing your LLB, LLB Hons or JD. Please contact the admitting authority in the state you wish to be admitted if your degree precedes the five-year ruling.
Practical Legal Training Early Start rule
If you intend to commence your GDLP prior to completing your Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor, you need to be familiar with the Early Start rules (see below).
Under the Legal Profession Uniform Admissions Rules, applicants for admission to legal practice must have completed a course of study under Schedule 2, Part 2, Clause 4(1)(b) of the rules prior to commencing their Practical Legal Training. However, this requirement may be waived by the relevant Legal Profession/Practitioner Admission Board for the jurisdiction in which you wish to be admitted, provided you provide an application to the Board and they approve your concurrent enrolment.
In order to apply for approval for Early Start (concurrent enrolment) you must:
- Decide which jurisdiction you wish to be admitted to practice.
- Apply to the Board to which you will be seeking admission to practice. Generally, your application to the Board must include evidence that you:
- have completed the Priestley 11 core subjects; and
- have no more than two electives remaining to complete your LLB/JD; and
- (in some jurisdictions) have exceptional circumstances to justify the concurrent study of your remaining LLB/JD and the GDLP.
- Each jurisdiction has a different process to apply for Early Start. Links to each of the Legal Profession/Practitioner Admission Board’s websites regarding the Early Start Rule are provided on the Admissions to practice - steps page.
** Please note: If you are seeking early start and intend to seek admission in Queensland, please contact ANU SLP Administration for advice - the procedure in Queensland differs to other jurisdictions.
Failure to apply for permission to commence your GDLP early could result in you not being eligible for admission to practice at the end of your GDLP. A list of Admissions Boards and links is provided on the Admissions to practice - steps page in the Current Students section.
International students who are based overseas while studying, or those who are based in Australia on another type of visa (not a student visa), are eligible to apply to the GDLP or MLP programme.
The ANU is unable to issue an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) to international students completing the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (GDLP) or the Master of Legal Practice (MLP) due to these programmes being offered predominantly online. The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (Cth) requires international students on student visas to engage in most of their study full time by attending classes on campus.
Students who are based overseas also need to be aware they must attend their first course (4 days) in person (face-to-face) at any of the locations offered throughout Australia.
International students who are enrolled on a full-time basis in another programme at ANU (or another university in Australia) may be able to undertake studies in the GDLP or MLP currently with their other programme. If, however, their student visa expires prior to completing the GDLP or MLP, they will be required to obtain another type of visa in order to stay in Australia, or complete their GDLP or MLP from overseas.
Non-Australian legal qualifications
Overseas degrees or courses of study may be recognised by an Australian admitting authority. However, an applicant may be required to undertake further Australian study, in addition to their overseas qualifications, in order to be admitted to practice. If you have a non-Australian legal qualification you should contact the Legal Practitioners Admission Board in the state or territory in which you wish to practise to assess your legal qualifications. You can also contact the Law Society or Law Institute in your intended jurisdiction for further details.
More information relating to overseas qualifications for admission to practice in Australia can be found by referring to the Uniform Principles for Overseas Applicants on the Law Admissions Consultative Committee website.
The duration of the GDLP is as little as six months full time, and the programme is delivered almost entirely online. The first step on your pathway to practice is a four-day, face-to-face introductory course taught by practising lawyers and barristers in one of several locations around Australia. This course, Becoming a Practitioner (BAP), is an introduction to lawyers’ skills and is the preparation for the rest of the GDLP programme.